December 2, 2014

{Book Blitz: Excerpt + Giveaway} Mending Heartstrings by Aria Glazki


Publication Date: December 2, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: New Adult, Romance




Kane’s a country singer who’s tangled with too many deceitful women. He’s learned his lesson: girls are for flirting and fun; emotions are for his music. But after spending a night with an earnest woman unlike any he’s known, he can’t force her out of his mind. So he goes in search of the woman he knows only as “Elle.”

On her last night in Nashville, the staunchly pragmatic Sabella found herself in a situation more suited to a romance novel than reality. Swept away, she ignored her rigidly self-imposed rules, succumbing to the fantasy just this once. But she knows real-world relationships have nothing in common with their fictionalized portrayals. When Kane unexpectedly shows up at her Portland apartment, she must choose between the practical truths she has learned and the desire for a passionate love she has struggled to suppress.

Despite the distance, Kane’s tour schedule, and their meddling friends, both are drawn to the chance for a romance neither quite believes is possible.


Sabella had barely returned to her wine when she heard the slight strumming of a guitar as someone settled in front of the microphone. She wasn’t certain what had prompted Kane to leave so abruptly, but she was definitely disappointed. Not that she was star-struck or anything. The fact that she had dressed up to venture outside her hotel room, to the Fiddle and Steel Guitar Bar, simply because she had heard that Kane Hartridge would possibly be trying out new material at their open mic night, did not mean she was star-struck. If anything, she was underwhelmed by his song choices tonight, and even more so by her awkward attempt at flirting. Men like Kane didn’t waste their attentions on women like her.

She took another sip of the perfectly nice Riesling and silently deliberated whether she would stay past draining her glass. This bar did have a certain, inexplicably innate, country charm that she wouldn’t mind exploring and observing further. After all, she had come to Nashville to learn what she could about the culture of country music.

As far as she could tell, the room around her was furnished with exactly the same style of unadorned, wooden furniture and boasted a similar smattering of booths around the perimeter as any other bar. Nothing about the décor particularly screamed “country.” No posters of country stars lined the walls, and if it weren’t for the distinct twang emanating from the patrons’ conversations and through the speakers, she could have been back home. If she could figure out what exactly made this bar so popular among the locals, the night wouldn’t have to be a complete waste. Plus, her flight the next day wasn’t until the afternoon, so she could afford to stay out awhile.

“Hey, guys,” Kane’s voice carried through the speaker system, quieting the room. Someone shut off the recorded music that had been playing ever since he had left the small stage, his performance intended as the finale of their open mic night. Sabella twisted on her barstool to face the stage. Kane and his guitar once again occupied the unadorned chair set behind the single microphone. His beer bottle rested just behind his leg. “Don’t mean to pull y’all away, but I have a friend in from out of town who is dyin’, she’s absolutely dyin’, to sing for you. Please join me in welcomin’ Elle—over by the bar, there, in the purple, that’s Elle—welcomin’ her to the Fiddle an’ Steel stage.”

Most of the patrons shifted their attention toward the bar, trying to find Kane’s “friend.” Sabella froze, schooling her expression. I can take anything you throw at me, she had said. He was clearly testing her claim. What in the world had she been thinking?

“C’mon, Elle,” Kane called through the microphone. “Here’s your chance.” His mouth pulled into a half smile, intended to portray solicitous charm, no doubt, not the baiting nature of his challenge.
She took a deep breath, reminding herself she would likely never see any of these people again, and slid off the barstool. Apparently, her customarily rigid practicality had been dislodged the second he’d bumped into her. Not that he was giving her much choice.

The stage was closer than she would have preferred, but the walk over from the bar still gave Sabella plenty of time to admire Kane’s comfortable posture. He wore jeans and a faded, black, button-down shirt, with a few buttons left unfastened and rolled-up sleeves. With his brown hair cut raggedly to slightly above his ears in front, somewhat longer in back, and his stunning green eyes, he really was more handsome than any man had a right to be. Especially one who was trying to embarrass her in front of a bar full of people.

“What exactly do you have in mind?” she murmured as she took the short step onto the stage.
He covered the microphone. “Name a country duet.”

At least he wasn’t going to force her to sing alone. Still, she wasn’t exactly a country music savant. “The only one that comes to mind is ‘Picture.’” That wasn’t strictly speaking true, but she was betting he would be even less thrilled with her choice if she had named one with Kelly Clarkson.

All Kane said was, “All right.” He shifted his chair so it wasn’t squarely facing the microphone then started to play an intro. “Not the newest song in the book, but a guilty pleasure for some of y’all, I’m sure,” he drawled, smiling at the crowd.

His voice captured her as he sang, its purity reminding her why his was the only country music to which she really listened. As she watched him, Sabella almost forgot he had manipulated her into joining him on stage—for a duet. She looked out over their somewhat captive audience, filled with men in worn-out jeans and flannel shirts—even a cowboy hat or two—and some amazingly beautiful women. Maybe this was actually a bizarre dream, and in reality she was sleeping in her hotel room, or even back home in her bed. If only.

When Kane finished the first chorus, he looked up at her in anticipation. Little crinkles appeared around his eyes. He didn’t think she would do it.

To be fair, normally she wouldn’t have. This is simply a more active form of research, she assured herself. Sticky sweat still gathered between her fingers and coated her palms. Sabella surreptitiously wiped her hands on her thighs and stepped marginally closer to the microphone.

She scrambled to remember the lyrics, staring at the floor as she sang. When no one booed by the end of the stanza, she risked a glance out at the room. About half of the tables had reverted to quiet conversation, but others appeared to be listening. At the end of her chorus, she looked over at Kane.
He was watching her, eyebrows drawn slightly together, as if he wasn’t altogether sure what he was seeing. Maybe he was shocked she was still singing, despite the blatant difference in their abilities. She had never been one for public displays of foolery, and the remaining shreds of
her rationality were appalled by the ridiculousness of her behavior. Running off the stage would be worse, though, or at the very least more memorable.

She finished their interchanging lines with her eyes on him. The last chord he strummed hung in the air until the murmuring of patrons’ conversations wiped it away. Sabella backed away from Kane and the microphone, then turned to step off the stage, and wove her way toward the hallway that led to the bar’s restrooms and a door with an “Employees Only” sign. She pressed her back to the wall for support and resolutely steadied her breathing. This night wasn’t turning out anything like she could have expected.



Aria Glazki's writing story started when her seventh-grade English teacher encouraged her to submit a class assignment for publication. That piece was printed, and let's just say, she was hooked!

Since then, Aria has run a literary magazine, earned her degree in Creative Writing (as well as in French and Russian literatures), and been published in a few collections. Though her first kiss technically came from a bear cub, and no fairytale transformation followed, Aria still believes magic can happen when the right people come together - if they don't get in their own way, that is.

Other than all things literary, Aria loves spending time with her family, including her two unbearably adorable nieces. She also dabbles in painting, dancing, playing violin, and, given the opportunity, Epicureanism.



1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking part in this book blitz, Anette!

    ReplyDelete